2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifying Matches
The 2018 FIFA World Cup will feature 32 teams. The qualifying process for the 2018 World Cup began on 12 March 2015 to 14 November 2017.
Confederation qualification processes
The distribution by confederation for the Russia 2018 World Cup will be:
Europe (UEFA): 13 places. The qualifiers begin in September 2012 and run through to October 2013.
Africa (CAF): 5 places. The qualifiers began in October 2011 and run through to September 2013
Asia (AFC): 4 or 5 places
Round One: Eight two-legged ties featuring the 16 lowest-ranked teams in Asia.
Round Two: 15 two-legged ties played on July 23-28, 2011. Winners advance to Round Three.
Round Three: 20 teams will be drawn into five groups of four teams. Played September 2, 2011 to February 29, 2012. Group winners and runners-up advance to Round Four.
Round Four: Two groups of five teams. Played June 3, 2012 to June 18, 2013. Group winners and runners-up qualify.
Round Five: The teams finishing third in Round Four face a home-and-away play-off. The winner advances to the intercontinental play-off.
South America (CONMEBOL): 4 or 5 places (Brazil qualified automatically ). The qualifiers began in October 2011 and run through to September 2013
North, Central American and Caribbean (CONCACAF): 3 or 4 places.
Round One. Teams ranked 26–35 will play-off to reduce the number of entrants to 30.
Round Two. 6 groups of 4 teams. This round includes the 5 qualifiers from the preliminary round plus teams ranked 7–25. The top team in each group advances to the next stage.
Round Three (Semifinal round). 3 groups of 4. Teams ranked 1–6 face off against the 6 group winners from the previous round. The top two in each group advance.
Round Four (Hexagonal). The top two teams in each group from the semifinal round compete in one group of 6. The top three teams advance to the World Cup finals, while the 4th place team advances to an intercontinental play-off.
Oceania (OFC): 0 or 1 place
Round One: The four lowest ranked teams played a league tournament between November 21-26, 2011. The winner of the tournament advanced to Round Two.
Round Two: Also the 2012 OFC Nations Cup, the Group Stage of this competition will act as World Cup qualifying for Oceania. The winner of Round One joins the seven top ranked nations in a league tournament with a semi-final and final. The four semi-finalists will go through. Played in June 2012.
Round Three: One four-team group playing on a home and away basis between September 7, 2012 and March 26, 2013. The winner of this group goes through to intercontinental play-off.